Saturday, June 19, 2010

Rupert Tallulah McChicken

The other day I returned home from a solo shopping mission to find Brian breathlessly entering the yard, wearing the baby in a sling, gingerly holding a cardboard box, saying "you'll never guess what happened!" Now what mischief could these two have gotten up to in the short time I was away, I wondered. Turns out that while out on a walk, Brian spotted a young chicken running free out behind our back gate. Being fairly certain that it was an escapee from the Lyneham High School, he thought he'd better try to catch it and care for it over the weekend, thus saving it from certain death at the paws of a four legged creature. Imagine if you will, Brian chasing a chick up and down a hedge while using a stick to attempt to direct the chicken out into the open where he eventually caught it with his hands, all while wearing a (probably somewhat amused) baby on his chest.

Now that the chicken was captured we faced the questions of where to keep it and what to feed it. Brian, clever chap that he is, found that a spare Pack'n'Play port-a-cot placed in the kitchen was an ideal temporary chicken coop. After a heater was set up near the pen to keep our feathered friend warm and a bowl of water and one of dry baby rice cereal placed inside, we turned to Google to determine how old our chick was, what we really should be feeding it and whether it was a boy or a girl. We decided it was somewhere around 4-6 weeks old and found that coarsely ground grains would be the best food. So we put some rice, lentils and polenta through the coffee grinder and added that to his bowl. Deciding whether it was male or female took quite a bit of research and in the meantime we covered our bases by giving it two names, Rupert Tallulah from the clan McChicken, of course. Turns out that it's really difficult to discern the gender of most chicks except that ours, an Isa Brown, is a sex linked chicken where the girls are brown and the boys are white. Tallulah it was.

Come Monday, Brian was having second thoughts about returning his new friend to the high school. He and the chick had become good buddies - it would chirp when he entered the room and continue to chirp until he held it, fly up out of the pen into his hands, fly or walk towards him whenever given the chance and fall asleep curled up in his arms. Very sweet. In the end however, we realized that Tallulah belonged with her flock as chickens are very social animals (and that the folks at the high school would probably notice one of their chickens living in our backyard - ha!).

Saturday, June 12, 2010


Now sitting up on his own for extended periods:

Getting himself into some interesting places by scooting and crawling backwards:

My little yogi:

A new trick - a few seconds of standing on his own!

Beans, Yum!

Riker had his first taste of solid food at six months. So far the menu has included mashed sweet potatoes, pumpkin, rice cereal, banana, apple, pear and avocado, but he hasn't really embraced the concept of eating food. On a good day, he tolerates it for a bite or two, but never eagerly opens his mouth for more. On other days he make the funniest faces and spits it all out. I'm wondering if maybe he'll be one of those kids who only likes to eat if he can feed himself. He is certainly interested in what we are eating and drinking however. So the other night at dinner we handed him a green bean and he gummed it for ages - long enough to let us enjoy our entire meal! Brian captured this great face:

And in other exciting news, he now has two teeth, both of which came in on the same day. Ouch!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Cael is Two!

Today my sweet nephew Cael is two! I wrote him this letter when he was born and since it took me a while to find it and since I still like the letter very much, I thought I'd re-post it here for posterity.

Dear BabyMoon,

You're here! Welcome to this crazy and beautiful world. We've all been waiting for you for a long time (well, relative to your time anyway) and here you are, arriving just when the time was right for you.

While you might not know it yet, lots and lots of people love you already. You're part of a pretty terrific group of people (they'll have you playing cards in no time, beware). They'll be there through thick and thin so remember that when you're twelve years old and they're embarrassing you in front of your friends.

A couple of important messages. You're mama is one the most beautiful and amazing women I know, so be good to her. You're big sister will probably try to take your toys and otherwise torture you at times. Don't worry about it too much, that's her job and she loves you.

Your family likes to travel. The world is an amazing place, full of kind and generous people (disregard what you might hear on the news). Go out and meet them, and be one of them.

We won't meet for a few months yet but when we do, you'll find that you have yet another auntie and uncle who will be a very special part of your life.

You have a big job ahead of you. You'll have to learn how to crawl, how to write, how to ride a bike, how to do your own laundry and how to be a kind and loving man. We're all here to do our best to help you get through the bumpy parts and celebrate the sweet parts.

Until we meet....
Your loving Auntie Jenn and Uncle Brian down under
June 6, 2008

Here he is (on the right) with Riker's other cousins, Teagan and Gavin (who by the way is expecting a sibling in November!) YAY!